Sadiq Kahn cancels NB4L/New Routemaster contract with Wrightbus

Discussion in 'Buses & Coaches' started by fredk, 2 Jan 2017.

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  1. Mikey C

    Mikey C Established Member

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    As TfL own the Borismasters, then there might be more scope for some sort of rebuild to newer technology, midlife? 1000 buses would be a decent number of vehicles to spread the development cost over.

    Either way, I don't mind them but can't see them operating outside of central London, as the extra length, door and staircase is only justified (if at all) on busy Central London routes.
     
  2. Deerfold

    Deerfold Established Member

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    However, they have lower capacity compared with other similar buses, so would perhaps be better on less busy routes.
     
  3. the101

    the101 Member

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    But... it was confirmed some time ago by TfL that some will be going onto the EL routes in Barking.

    :?
     
  4. fowler9

    fowler9 Established Member

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    I get you but when as the chap above said the wheelbase may well have been shorter than a 12m rigid why were they clipping curbs more? Not arguing by the way, just trying to understand.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    I still don't get why the length of them makes them dangerous. Also re the articulation, it is not to far from the centre so surely the rear end pretty much follows the line of the front end unlike an articulated lorry. Again I am just asking out of ignorance to be honest, not saying you are wrong.
     
  5. carlberry

    carlberry Member

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    Basically people didn't like them because they were different! When Boris realised he could get some kudos by whipping up negative PR around them then they didn’t stand a chance. The Borismaster can be more difficult to get round corners (again down to the skill of the driver) and one of the suggestions above is that longer double deckers will be needed on some routes which, again, gives a longer wheelbase to manoeuvre.
     
  6. fowler9

    fowler9 Established Member

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    This was my thinking, I am struggling to find figures but just looking at the thing a Borrismaster must have a longer wheelbase than a bendy. If so how were the bendys causing more accidents, clipping more curbs etc.
     
  7. TheGrandWazoo

    TheGrandWazoo Established Member

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    There are many European cities not built on a grid system that employ bendis
     
  8. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    I think other things on the road and perhaps even bad positioning by the driver (just like when they often jumped lights and blocked an entire junction given their length) caused the issues in my experience.

    But we know London roads are never going to be perfect. Dodgy parking by a taxi or van making a delivery can result in a bus causing problems even if it isn't actually the fault of the bus. Still no consolation when it hits a kerb or even swings over a pavement (of which normal buses can and do too).
     
  9. Robertj21a

    Robertj21a Established Member

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    Can you just remind me where the 'clipping kerbs' comment has come from ? - it's not something I recall.
     
  10. WatcherZero

    WatcherZero Established Member

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    Because the rear section tended to understeer in corners, swinging out further than the front section before correcting. People were often caught unawares by this not expecting to be caught when they had made sure to be clear of the first section. You see the same thing with cars towing caravans. The rear section of an articulated vehicle is also much more vulnerable to wind pushing it out during the corner creating lateral movement (road slip) against the drivers steering of the front section.
     
    Last edited: 17 Jan 2017
  11. Robertj21a

    Robertj21a Established Member

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    I'd be surprised if wind pushed the rear section of a bendy bus out given that it's only a short length - and has a weighty engine in it too.
     
  12. fredk

    fredk Member

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    As someone who cycles in London I am very happy to see the end of bendy buses. It doesn't matter how long a rigid bus is, it's very easy to see how it will manoeuvre. With a bendy bus you have to consider where the rear section is. Now this is fine on a straight section of road - but interacting with these buses as a vulnerable road user is harder and therefore more dangerous, in the same way interacting with an articulated lorry is.
     
  13. the101

    the101 Member

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    :shock: :shock: :shock:

    I can hardly believe what I am reading, even by the usual opinion-presented-as-fact standards on here.

    The cut in (not 'oversteer') of the rear section of a bendy bus is little more than that experienced by axke 2, as is obvious from looking at the positions of axles 2 and 3 relevant to the pivot point.

    As for the kind of winds experienced in London being strong enough to push sideways a heavy piece of bus that has four sturdy tyres on the tarmac, the mind boggles.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    I would respectfully suggest that the rear section is going to follow the front piece, given that they are connected together?
     
  14. daikilo

    daikilo Established Member

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    Well, yes, but the actual track of the rear wheels will depend upon the relative position of the pivot point to the axles 2 and 3; it is usually about 1/3 : 2/3. This means that in say a left turn the rear wheels will track closer to the pavement which can be an issue with a cycle lane. Conversely, in such a turn the outer rear-overhang may well also track closer to the pavement reducing the risk of contact with traffic bollards or oncoming vehicles. Its rather like towing a caravan except that the engine is at the back of the caravan and pushing.
     
  15. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Yes, but it's reasonably predictable. As a cyclist the only issue I had was that they were longer and therefore you were alongside one[1] (and so at risk) for longer. Their movement is no more or less predictable than a rigid vehicle (15m rigids in London anyone? :) )

    [1] My preferred approach when driving or riding any vehicle is to avoid being fully alongside, and therefore in the blind spot of, any large vehicle of any kind. Not always possible, but harder with a longer vehicle.
     
  16. daikilo

    daikilo Established Member

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    Neil, there are a fair number of 14.7/15m tri-axle coaches in London ... and the rotation point is the second axle (the third axle steers in the opposite direction to the front axle) meaning the effective overhang is impressive.
     
  17. Teflon Lettuce

    Teflon Lettuce Member

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    I haven't been on here for a while so this post comes late in the argument... to get back to the original subject of the thread...

    Sadiq Khan has NOT cancelled the contract with Wrights for the NBFL... the contract was for TfL to guaruntee to take the first 1000 vehicles which it will still be doing... HOWEVER there was no onus on TfL to take any more.

    I'd also like to point out to the NBFL neigh sayers that point to it being a failure because no other operator has taken any.... under the terms of the same contract Wrights were unable to sell any to any other operator until TfL has taken it's 1000th vehicle as TfL has the exclusive rights on the 1st 1000 vehicles.

    While I don't know the ins and outs of the reliability problems of the NBFL could it be anything to do with the fact that when it was designed hybrid technology, whilst maybe not in it's infancy, could have been deemed to be in it's toddler-hood? In many ways it was still experimental technology and the newer... more reliable systems... now in production can be seen as being a direct result of the lessons learned from the intensive use in normal service by the NBFL?
     
  18. carlberry

    carlberry Member

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    As I understood it 1000 was the point at which TfL got exclusive rights over the design and until that point Wrights could sell it elsewhere. However why anybody wants to fight over the design of a bus with too many doors and too many staircases is a bit of a mystery to me!
    The Boris hybrid design (like the original Routemaster) was overtaken in the time between the prototypes and the production run.
     
  19. Dent

    Dent Member

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    Do you know of any operators who have even submitted orders for NBFLs?

    I would expect TfL to jump at the chance to sell the exclusive rights that they do not need - and indeed sell the buses that they have ordered and don't need - if anyone was willing to buy them. Do you know of any operators who have made an offer to TfL for the rights or buses?

    Other hybrid buses were already in intensive use before the NBfL, so no they are not a result of the NBfL.
     
  20. Teflon Lettuce

    Teflon Lettuce Member

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    In all honesty... no... but there has been a recent move towards vehicles that certainly LOOK like NBFL clones

    I would have to disagree with that statement... when NBFL was conceived hybrid buses, in this country at least, were still in the highly experimental phase... yes there were intensive trials but no intensive FLEETWIDE operation.

    Indeed, if you accept the widely accepted conception that London is uniquely the most demanding environment for bus operation in this country, if not Europe, then surely the fleetwide introduction of hybrids to London was the ultimate test of the technology?

    To say that the NBFL is an unmitigated disaster operationally is a total fallacy.... surely if they WERE that much more unreliable than straight diesels (or come to that alternative hybrid vehicles) then surely TfL as the commissioning client would be pursuing Wrights through the courts for breach of contract or some other reason?
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    I would agree that it has too many doors.... but disagree that it has too many staircases... surely a double deck bus with a door and staircase at each end of the vehicle is the most efficient design for loading and unloading simultaneously which happens in London much more frequently than other towns and cities in this country?

    I think that is what I was basically saying, but more succintly! Like the original RM the NBFL was overtaken by developments in design.
     
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